Authentic Kaiserschmarrn Recipe (Austrian Torn-Up Pancakes)

We Love Kaiserschmarrn And This Pancake “Mess” Is Very Easy To Make!

Looking for a dessert that is easy to make and where it definitely doesn’t matter if you mess it up? Try Kaiserschmarrn (sometimes also written as Kaiserschmarren)! This “messy pancake” is a delicious dessert – made from a sweet batter – that has been popular for almost two centuries!

Served with powdered sugar and various fruit jams (compotes), it’s a classic Austrian dish you can find if you travel around Europe near the Alps. Given that it’s such a regional dish, it can be hard to find a Kaiserschmarrn recipe in English. Well, that’s where we come in!

grey plate of kaiserschmarrn with plum jam
A classic view of Kaiserschmarrn – powdered sugar and plum jam!

That said, Kaiserschmarrn has a great back story – in fact, it has many versions. What is agreed upon is the fact that it got its name from being a favorite dish of Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph I. The name Kaiserschmarrn is made up of two words. “Kaiser” means Emperor and “Schmarren” is a loose, colloquial term to mean “mess” in the south of Germany and Austria.

How the Emperor got to tasting Kaiserschmarrn for the first time is up for debate: from having a wife looking to lose weight to having a nervous farmer cook it up for lunch when the Emperor stopped by. Whatever the story, the broken apart pancake is delicious!

top view of grey plate with kaiserschmarrn pancake on it with jar of jam beside

Kaiserschmarrn is a dessert that is close to our hearts, too. Lisa grew up eating Kaiserschmarrn because even though it is Austrian, it is also popular in Bavaria in the south of Germany (where she grew up). She often made it when she was a kid old enough to use a stove – but she left out the rum raisins!

Eric’s first interaction with Kaiserschmarrn was in Vienna at an authentic Viennese restaurant a few years back. Let’s just say that eating Kaiserschmarrn in the Austrian capital (complete with plum compote) was an unforgettable experience. Honestly, Eric still raves about how that dessert was one of the best he has ever tasted. Yeah, it was that good.

close up of broken pancake kaiserschmarrn on plate with jar of plum jam behind
There are those raisins – but you can go without!

To whip together your own broken pancake, just follow the recipe below. It is very easy to do and is perfect for those cooks just starting out who maybe haven’t honed their skills yet! The original recipe includes rum-soaked raisins but they can be left out or substituted for other kinds of dried fruit.

As for the toppings, a hearty dusting of powdered sugar is a must when it comes to Kaiserschmarrn. It is also often served with a fruit compote (which is slightly different from jam – but jam also tastes great if you don’t have any compote). It was originally done with plum compote but apple sauce also works very well with the eggy, doughy, sweet pancake! We hope you enjoy this recipe – have fun making a mess of things!

pieces of kaiserschmarrn on grey plate with plum jam behind

Kaiserschmarrn (Austrian Pancakes)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Sweet and doughy, Kaiserschmarrn (literally "Emperor's Mess") is a delicious Austrian dessert that is so easy to prepare. Made from eggs, flour, milk, and sugar, this messy looking pancake is best served with a sweet plum jam, apple sauce, or just powdered sugar!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 2 tbsp rum or water (when using raisins)
  • 4 medium-sized eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
  • powdered sugar and/or plum jam (to garnish)

Instructions

  1. If you want to include raisins into your recipe, soak them for around 15-30 minutes in 2 tablespoons of rum. If you don't like rum and/or are sharing this meal with kids, just use water instead.
  2. Separate the eggs - egg yolks into a large mixing bowl and egg whites into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Make sure that no egg yolk gets into the egg whites as this would make it harder to beat the egg whites in the next step.
  3. Beat the egg whites in their bowl for a few minutes until stiff. When tilting the bowl, the egg whites should barely move/slide. Another way to test that the egg whites are stiff enough is to raise your beaters. If the egg whites create a little "mountain" in the bowl, your egg whites are stiff enough.
  4. In the bowl with the egg yolks, add sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat with your electric mixer until the batter is smooth.
  5. Add in the milk and the flour interchangeably into the egg yolk mixture in small increments while beating the batter on the lowest setting.
  6. Set your electric mixer aside and carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture with a spatula. Also add the raisins (optional).
  7. Heat butter in a large frying pan and pour the batter in. If you have a smaller pan, you might want to fry the batter in two batches. We usually use a pan with a 10-inch diameter and prefer to fry it in two intervals as it makes it easier to flip and rip. Fry the pancake on low-medium heat for around 5 minutes until the bottom is slightly golden brown.
  8. Break/rip your pancake into a couple of big pieces with a spatula and flip. The top of the pancake might still be uncooked which is fine - it will cook quickly once flipped. After flipping the pancake wait for around 2 minutes for it to cook lightly, then start ripping the pancake into even smaller pieces. Keep moving the pieces until everything is golden brown and fully cooked through.
  9. Plate your pieces and serve your pancake with powdered sugar, plum jam, or apple sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 511Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 188mgSodium: 191mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 1gSugar: 54gProtein: 11g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

Did you like this recipe?

Pin it to one of your boards on Pinterest so you can come back to it any time!

Leave a Comment